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HPOG Promising Practice: Kansas Department of Commerce–Education, Training, and Support Services

Published: December 18, 2019
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Technical Assistance

The Topeka Workforce Center buildingTopeka, KS

Compassionate advocates help customers strengthen basic skills as they prepare for healthcare careers in Northeast Kansas.

For students participating in the Kansas Health Opportunity Project (KHPOP), a firm educational foundation is a critical factor in program completion. Thanks to funding provided by the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program, Basic Skills Training has proven to be an essential component in laying the groundwork to set participants up for success.

In workforce centers throughout Northeast Kansas, Employment & Training Specialists (ETS) perform a thorough assessment and analysis on each KHPOP participant to identify skills gaps and examine their current living and financial situations. These advocates provide crucial problem-solving support throughout the process, keeping them on track, and preparing them for success.

During the initial assessment, ETSs meet with participants to learn more about them and determine their current skills levels. Participants complete math, reading, information locating, and career readiness assessments before working on a comprehensive employment plan with their assigned specialists. ETSs then make referrals to community partners for adult education, tutoring, and additional assessments as necessary. Other preparatory activities include WorkReady certification, GED prep, financial literacy, and other programs that help strengthen basic skills.

Community partners, including local technical schools, provide crucial program resources and assistance. Washburn Institute of Technology (WIT) offers additional assessment options, including ACCUPLACER, which matches a participant’s abilities to the correct training courses. Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc., assists KHPOP with all aspects of financial literacy. For each program completed, customers receive a certificate of completion to bring back to their ETS.

KHPOP also works with six Adult Basic Education Centers in Northeast Kansas to ensure participants have the basic skills to successfully complete their post-secondary education, often in conjunction with classes for English as a second language learners and existing programs like Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas (AO-K). AO-K assists customer with getting their GED while attending short term healthcare courses like Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Certified Medical Assistant (CMA).

Highland Community College, Trinity Career Institute, and We Care Online provide additional assistance with the enrollment process and supporting students through program completion. Highland Community College organizes regular orientations for potential HPOG participants. They offer additional space for enrollment and a new world of resources to students that thrive in the classroom. Trinity Career Institute provides a more flexible training atmosphere for busy students. Trinity also offers one-on-one tutoring at no additional cost. We Care Online offers courses in a virtual classroom, and  uses consistent communication to respond to student’s questions and concerns. We Care offers clinicals in locations convenient to students, and is constantly adding more clinical. These excellent resources and services ensure every participant can succeed on the path personalized to their abilities.

Patience, compassion, active listening, and excellent communication skills are the critical factors ETS advocates employ to position participants for program success.

This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

Last Reviewed: December 18, 2019